Archive for September 12th, 2007

Philippoussis will play Stanford Championships in Dallas

September 12, 2007

The Stanford Championships has announced that Australian Mark Philippoussis has entered this year’s draw. The event, held in Dallas, is the sixth of seven exhibition events featuring male players over the age of 30.

Philippoussis has not played a main draw event since retiring from the Hopman Cup in January of 2007 due to a hyperextended knee, forcing him to miss the Australian Open, his home Grand Slam.

Knee injuries have been haunting the Australian since 1998, when a cartilage tear forced him to retire while he was leading in a Wimbledon quarterfinal match against grass great Pete Sampras. Many say he was never the same since that injury.

And as Philippoussis has aged, other injuries have set in.

“My knee is feeling great, but the reason I haven’t been playing is that my lower back has been hurting.” He plans to be 100% recovered in time to play in Dallas.

Others confirmed for the eight-man field are Jim Courier, John McEnroe, and Mats Wilander — an esteemed group whose achievements Philippoussis respects and talents he still considers dangerous. “There is going to be some pressure on me. I don’t want to lose to these guys.”

The 30-year-old, of Greek and Italian descent, had planned to make Outback Champions debut earlier this year in a highly anticipated match-up against Pete Sampras (also Greek) in Athens. Unfortunately, he did not recovery from injuries in time to play.

Philippoussis continues to work hard at his Las Vegas base camp, where he hits with Andre Agassi and trains with Gil Reyes.

At the same time, he’s also involved with entertainment projects.

The Australians have done their fair share of dabbling in reality television. Players Alicia Molik and Todd Woodbridge, and tennis wife Bec Cartwright (married to Lleyton Hewitt, though a celeb in her own right) have all appeared in that country’s version of Dancing with the Stars.

And Stateside, Serena Williams had a short-lived appearance in ABC’s Fast Cars and Superstars. But it was Philippoussis who made the biggest mark, getting his own dating show. Age of Love pitted 20-something and 40-something women in a contest to see if, in love, age matters. (Rumor has it that he’s already broken up with winner — and 26-year-old Amanda Salinas.)

The series was considered a ratings disaster when it first aired, but gathered enough steam that NBC decided to broadcast the season’s full run. There has been talk of the Australian starring in another series, this time documenting his return to professional tennis.

Like the Williams sisters, who have been criticized for not paying enough attention to their tennis careers (while dabbling in fashion, acting, and attending Hollywood parties), Philippoussis has been feeling the heat. But he brushes off the critics. “I know what I’d love to do is in my heart, in my mind… Tennis is my life.”

“I’m always watching [tennis] on TV,” he says. “And taping matches — I haven’t done that before.”

And this continued interest and passion for the sport pushes him back towards rejoining the ATP circuit. “What I’d love to do is start playing a couple of small events” — which ones, he hasn’t decided yet — “and concentrate on getting back next year, hopefully at the Australian (Open).”

Along with Lleyton Hewitt, Philippoussis will try to become the first Australian to win that Grand Slam since Mark Edmondson achieved that feat in 1976.

Tennis Australia gone as far as ripping out the Rebound Ace courts in favor of a surface similar to the U.S. Open‘s. While that may favor the game of Hewitt (who won the U.S. Open in 2001 and was a finalist in 2004), the latest ATP standings has pushed him out of the Top 20, making it likely that he will have to face the game’s top players in the earlier rounds of that tournament.

And Philippoussis, who will enter the draw probably as a wildcard, will face the same uphill battle — one that he’s ready to face: “It’s a long way to talk about something like that but, in my heart, for myself, I do believe, but in order to make that happen or anything close to making that happen, I need to work harder than I’ve ever worked in my life. It’s going to be a long, long, long road back.”

Notes: Stanford Championships, October 18-21, 2007, Dallas. An eight-man round-robin tournament including Mark Philippoussis, Jim Courier, John McEnroe, and Mats Wilander. For more info (inc. ticket sales), visit www.championsseriestennis.com/dallas2007 or call (214) 467-8277.

serena at zac posen

September 12, 2007

DTL tipped us off about the Serena Williams front row appearance at Zac Posen‘s Spring 2008 RTW show. She sat next to Interview EIC Ingrid Sischy (who was wielding, of course, a flourescent-colored Polaroid camera).

Zac’s collection, inspired by “the Shakers and the wheat fields of the Great Plains”, brought out the wide brims, bonnets, and buckles. He redefined frump to fit the sexy female silhouette, but Nicole Phelps thought he didn’t quite run away with the theme during the evening wear presentation.

That’s Zac on the right.

Browse: The complete collection at style.com.

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fashion: the many bandanas of arnie clement

September 12, 2007

It’s a rarity that you’ll see Arnaud Clement competing sans headband. The French tennis pro — who’s sponsored by Lacoste — pairs this with shades to manage hair, sweat, and sun during his matches.

Want your own?: You can visit planetbuff.com, whose UV Buff headwear is perfect for protecting your head from the sun while wicking away sweat. They carry a bunch of cool prints.

More pics: Arnaud has a few of these bandanas in rotation… solid purple and plus a few prints. His looks from this year’s U.S. Open are here, and the ones from Roland Garros are below:

(more…)

davenport returns

September 12, 2007

TSF is happy to see Lindsay Davenport back on the court after giving birth to son Jagger (and Peter Bodo‘s on the same boat).

FYI: Lindsay made her doubles return with Lisa Raymond in last month’s Pilot Pen tournament in New Haven (but lost in the first round the top-seeded team of Huber and Black).

This time around — in her first singles tourney back from maternity leave — she opened with an easy 6-2, 6-2 win over Eleni Daniilidou at the Commonwealth Bank Classic in Bali. She’s also partnered with Slovakian Dani Hantuchova for the doubles draw.

She’s wearing the Nike Women’s Fall ’07 Power Tank in black. Die cut holes (backed with Dri-FIT fabric) accent the cute empire waist on this top.

What do you think of Lindsay’s tank? Are you glad to see her back on tour? Tell us!

Buy: $50 at Midwest Sports.

(photos via Getty Images)

short balls: more u.s. open bits

September 12, 2007

Novak makes it: As I’ve said before, you know you’ve made it big when make a regular appearance in the pages of the New York Times. That, and when you get your own Towleroad sportrait. Congrats, Nole!

Wertheim’s list: Of Jon Wertheim’s 50 post-Open notes, three stand out:

  • “I saw one player brandishing a book during this event and it was….Janko Tipsarevic.
  • “She didn’t get the fanfare of Justin Gimelstob (much less Tim Henman) but a tip of the cap to Corina Morariu, who retired quietly after her last match. One of those people who make the tennis firmament a more pleasant place. Same for Paola Suarez and Nicole Pratt, who also played their final Open.” Which is sad, because I wanted to see Lindsay Davenport play doubles with Morariu.
  • Roger Federer‘s Nike deal is expiring soon. Stay tuned for some drama on this one.” So, is this what Rick Vach was talking about last week?

On a roll: Our buddy Nick (AIPT) writes this piece for Sportingo wondering why women don’t produce great tennis in the second week of the Slams. Go read it and comment!

Nick — I don’t quite agree with the gripe. First, there were many tight three-setters on the women’s side (Jankovic-Venus, Henin-Serena, and Henin-Venus all come to mind). These matches didn’t all happen in the second week (unfortunately) because of that top-heavy draw. But even if the seedings held, there were many players seeded lower than they should’ve been, turning them into dark horses. (If they seeded a la Wimbledon, the second week at the Open might have turned out differently.)

On the flip side of this subjective seeding is rewarding a seed with what they’ve done in the last 52 weeks. If they’re rusty from injury, they get picked off in the early rounds anyway. And then the tourney’s left with a hot lower-ranked girls (the Radwanskas of the world) who might end up deer-in-headlights in the final. They tighten up and get steamrolled 1 and 1.

So if you fix the schedule (to prevent injury) and get more flexible with the seeding, it’ll get better.

Living in my bubble: Here I go thinking that the final between Federer and Djokovic was watched by everyone (the world stopped for a few hours, didn’t it?). Apparently, this was not the case.

Sister, sister: While we’re on the subject, I spoke to a couple of people who were sad the Williams sisters didn’t end up on different halves, which could’ve meant a Williams final. uhm, what? Ratings might have been better, but the quality of play would have sucked. They’re likely to keep playing awkward, error-filled matches against each other for the rest of their lives. Let’s dream about other rivalries, ok?

(OT) Happy Birthday, A Train!: It turned 75, and the MTA rolled out the rattan. Fun!


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